Marine Rescue NSW volunteer, Lynne Hocking has been appointed the first female Deputy Unit Commander at Shoalhaven.
Ms Hocking was offered the position by recently retired Unit Commander Bruce Mitchell and newly promoted Unit Commander Martin Kaye.
“It was a privilege to be asked to take on the role and great acknowledgement of my love of the Shoalhaven unit,” Ms Hocking said.
“I’m proud to take on the role, it’s an honour to be the unit’s first female Deputy Unit Commander.”
Mr Kaye said he was delighted to have Ms Hocking as his deputy.
“We have worked together in the unit for three years,” he said.
“I am proud to have a female Deputy Unit Commander and seeing the increase of women joining the Shoalhaven unit.”
Ms Hocking said she is looking forward to supporting Mr Kaye in her new role.
“We’re a good balanced team, I can handle the admin and fundraising while Marty is very operationally strong, he knows the vessels and I know radio communications,” she said.
“I respect him very much and enjoy working with him.”
Ms Hocking joined Marine Rescue Shoalhaven in early 2020 following a 35-year marketing career.
“I think if there’s two things that got me through Covid and transitioning into retirement, it’s my love of fishing and Marine Rescue NSW,” she said.
Ms Hocking began as a radio operator with Marine Rescue before earning qualifications as crew and watch officer.
The 60-year-old is currently training for senior crew rating and has been mentored by the Illawarra region’s only female Unit Commander, Sussex Inlet’s Karen Lowry.
“Karen is an exceptional role model and a great go to person whenever I need clarification,” Ms Hocking said.
“I helped Karen run the inaugural Southern Zone Empowering Women Forum last September which assists females volunteering with Marine Rescue.”
Ms Hocking said that Illawarra Zone Commander Michael Hammond is also a champion for Marine Rescue’s female volunteers.
This year’s Empowering Women’s Forum will be held in Batemans Bay in August.